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January 19, 1989

CIFER PLC PROPOSES TO TRANSFORM ITSELF BY ACQUIRING FERRARI COMPUTER SERVICES

By CBR Staff Writer

The privately held company on the distribution side of the business that Cifer Plc hopes to acquire (CI No 1,090) turns out to be Ferrari Computer Services Ltd, Egham, Surrey, which is effectively reversing into the deeply troubled Melksham, Wiltshire display manufacturer to gain a quotation for itself if Cifer holders agree to this drastic change in direction for their company. Cifer proposes to issue 80m new shares for Ferrari, representing 50% of the enlarged share capital, and Ferrari chairman Bob Woodland will become chairman of the combined group. Ferrari is valued at UKP9.6m at the knock-down 12 pence at which Cifer shares were suspended, but the valuation should come out rather better than that when the shares start trading again – if the deal is approved. Ferrari is a personal computer products distributor, has an applications software arm, and also provides warehousing services and logistics management, and it made pre-tax profits of UKP1.1m on UKP18.4m turnover in the year to March 1988 – pretty ancient history 10 months later. The new Cifer is to be holding company for several small computer businesses, implying that a string of further acquisitions are in the plan.

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